Yes, ask the question is always an answer I would suggest to anyone in this scenario.
In life (but in the workplace in particular) I've always considered the saying:
If you don't ask, you don't get
It's not an amazing saying but it certainly applies here; you won't get more unless you ask for it.
The caveat to this is that if you were being "given more", you probably wouldn't be asking for "more" in the first place.
You've been at the company for a long time, and I would like to assume that you've worked hard in that time and particularly over the past 12 months, with the aim of bringing home that bonus.
You've already asked about it to a higher-up, but I would say that you should ask again to understand, specific to your case, as to how your bonus has been decided, and why yours is the value that it is.
"Your review was good"
To which I would reply something like:
"I believe it was too but this has demotivated me, the decrease last year was X, and so I strived harder this year to address any issues and to improve this time around; for it to decrease again has really taken me by surprise. Could we discuss this further or in more depth?"
- Start the discussion in person with the more senior member that you're closest to
something like the above
- Follow up with an email
build the paper-trail
- Ready any evidence that would improve your case
Emails, notes, notable successes, explanations for "failings" if any
Typically, the reason has been one of only a couple of things:
- The person making the decision has no real reason for having reduced the bonus
This is probably the best reason because you have a better chance at improving the bonus if there's no real reasons for why you didn't get that bonus
- The company may be having some financial pressures
Getting more common in the past couple of years with inflation on the rise some businesses struggling to "return to normal" after COVID
- A new higher-up has simply taken issue with giving bonuses to the company or a given department
I would say this is rare
- A new higher-up has taken issue with you personally
This is very rare, but I have seen this happen to my Dad actually.
He started received terrible performance reviews (after 5+ years of great ones) when he got a new manager